DOUGHTY & JOHNSON: “HEY MURRAY, WHAT TOOK YA SO LONG?”

If you recall, which you probably don’t as we hockey nut jobs tend to do terrible, terrible things to our bodies on a semi-regular regular basis (read: 82/yr) that make the memory not work so good sometimes, that about 2 weeks ago I told you why Doughty and Johnson are a terrible even-strength pairing.  In that article, I said:

“If there is a place to pair them together, it is the powerplay.

  • Yet we almost never see it except by accident.  The PP pairings have consistently been Stoll-Doughty and Johnson-Martinez.
  • If the point of the Doughty-Johnson pairing is to generate offense, and the powerplay is purely about offense, whereas 5-on-5 is also about defense, AND we have already established that both of their defensive games suffer when paired together, what the hell is the logic between pairing them together at even strength but not on the powerplay?
  • Answer: There isn’t any.  Its fucking insane.”

Last night against the Edmonton Oilers (and to a lesser extent towards the end of the game against the Wild), Coach Terry Murray got the memo.

Doughty and Johnson both had two powerplay assists (and Ryan Smyth two PP goals), each coming off similar plays where Johnson passed from the top of the point to the left where Doughty quickly ripped off shots that blasted by the old and confused Nikolai Khabibulin, ever so softly massaged into perfect direction by the stick of Smyth.  (**UPDATE** – Ofcourse right after I write this, the scoring gets changed so that Doughty is now credited with both goals.  The following word applies ever more forcefully now, and, in fact, now requires the addition of a ‘huzzah!’)

Hallelujah!  Right?

Yup.

After the game, Johnson and Doughty had the following to say to Rich Hammond at LA Kings Insider.

(on his power-play partnership with Drew Doughty…)
JOHNSON: “He and I really enjoy playing with each other. We’re just kind of reading and reacting, and we have fun doing it. So whatever the coaches decide is best, but I know Drew and I have a lot of fun playing with each other.”

——–

(on the power-play success with him and Jack Johnson…)
DOUGHTY: “Me and Jack have wanted to play together for a little while here. We’ve been on separate PP units, and they finally put us together tonight and you saw what we can do together. Hopefully we can continue to produce like that.”

You all know by now that I enjoy reading the words that aren’t written in quotes.

These two juicy little quotes, besides stroking my already saturated ego, contain fun little jabs at a question we have been asking for oh, what is it… 2 and a half years now.

Why is Terry Murray two steps behind?  Why does he stubbornly refuse to do things every Kings’ fan knows to be for the best?

Let’s take a more penetrating look at these player quotes.

(Johnson) “So whatever the coaches decide is best, but I know Drew and I have a lot of fun playing with each other.”

So whatever the coach decides is best.  We call this towing the company line.  But…. ah there it is, BUT!  Johnson isn’t stupid enough to say “but I know he’s been wrong in not pairing us together on the PP”.  He doesn’t need to, the results say that loud and clear for him.  Subtle, still classy, but in plainer terms “Hey Terry, what you says goes and what you’ve been saying has sucked, so keep saying ‘Jack & Drew on the PP!’”

On to Doughty.

“Me and Jack have wanted to play together for a little while here. We’ve been on separate PP units, and they finally put us together tonight and you saw what we can do together. Hopefully we can continue to produce like that.”

So they’ve been asking for it.  Either explicitly or not, these guys have been sitting around scratching their heads asking themselves “I know that Jack and I kick major ass on the PP together, and I know the PP has sucked lately, so why the hell don’t I play with Jack on the PP?”  Doughty’s quote is more specific in its reproach of the coaches head-scratching decisions.  To twist the words of another once again into something more palatable to what I feel to be the truth, “Hopefully we can continue to produce like that SO LONG AS WE ARE KEPT TOGETHER ON THE MUTHA-FONKIN’ POWERPLAY!”

Do Jack and Drew dislike Terry Murray?  Who the hell knows.  Probably not, father… er… grandfather figure that he is, I’m willing to bet they like their coach.  However while sometimes we must indict those that make the decisions, others we must praise them.

So though I rag and jeer and rant on Terry, I must conclude by saying thanks.  Though I fear he will look back on last night’s game and see nothing more than the system working for once instead of the palpable chemistry of the double D and the dual J, nonetheless, thanks Coach Muray.  Thank you for doing what we have wanted you to do for so long and put two of the most outstanding and exciting young defenseman in the entire game of hockey on the same power play ice.

P.S.

KEEP IT UP!



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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16 replies

  1. Scoring changed, Drew Doughty was given both PP goals.

    • Even better! I had a feeling the second one would get changed. Surprised its both, but happy. Drew deserved those goals, Johnson now gets the 1st assists he deserves and Kopi gets a point, which is always good with me.

  2. And praise for Quicker!
    One of his best games of the season. He is looking sharp and on top of his game again.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  3. Anyone see the beginning to that Boston Dallas game? 3 fights in a row! Man I would love to see that kind of hockey more often!

  4. The thing I like most about TM…..he makes us fans look smart.

    I actually like many things TM brings to the table. I like his defensive (homeplate) structure. I like the way he teaches the ‘right way’ and ‘heavy stick’ mentality, two way player etc…….It’s just the fact I hate his offensive game plan with such passion, I’m sometimes blinded to all the positive attributes he brings.

    • I think you have outlined the current situation perfectly.

      I wonder if the Club’s lack of offense has more to due with the talent structure and less to do with the coaching.

      If we lack offensive keys then the best we can hope for is a top notch defense and a lot of low scoring games.

  5. Now hopefully Murray gets it for the shootout too. Zeus and Stoll have been money there lately, could we have earned the 2nd point in Minny if we saw them in the first 3 spots? Kopi and Brown cannot find the net in any fashion for some time now, and a top line that isn’t scoring but 2 goals total in over a month becomes a big detriment to climbing in the standings. Without our exceptional goaltending our playoff hopes would be toast about now.

    • It’s just a theory but I would open up Kopi and Brown to press hard offensively, all the time, with plays right to the net instead of the boards, and play a left wing lock where the left winger patrols the left side defensively, and cuts the defensemans coverage into 2/3′rds of the ice, instead of 1/2 and 1/2 on the backcheck. Give the D the green light to join the attack with equal share to the left winger if they read an outnumbered situation developing.

      We have good 2 way players who can play the left side in this scenario. 5 strait years of watching Kopi go through left wingers in TM’s offense, and we’re still looking for an offensive left winger to play with him. It would also confuse the hell out of some opponents to have some lines playing 2 totally different styles.

      • I think the lack of 5 on 5 umph by Smyth has taken the 2nd line out of the game and may be spilling over to Kopitar’s line.

        Seems to me the most successful ploy lately has been to shift Koptiar early so he spends about 15 secs. on Richardson’s line prior to Loki and the Brown jumping out.

        I think Loki will be a good left wing with that wide, low stance and, he’s creative. Just needs a little more muscle and weight to work the corners and behind the net.

        • USHA,
          That’s was a good catch. I’ve noticed Kopi on some movement up ice with Clifford at times and wondered what the hell is Clifford doing out there with Kopi. Then Cliffy will change and the rest of Kopi’s line will come out. Seems as though Kopi is the last to change also.

  6. Who do you use for this left wing for this? Lokti is too creative, and you can’t break up the only consistent scoring line of Smyth-Stoll-Williams. Does that mean you move Poni up from the 3rd line? I’m OK with that, I guess. It can’t be the Big Red Dog (Clifford). Could Sturm fit here if healthy?

    The key is to make sure the system fits the players and the players fit the system. All our bitchin’ about TM’s system is because we don’t think it meshes with the players skillsets very well. We can’t commit the same error.

    Would you then make sure to always pair a specific set of D-Men behind the lock to insure that there is a solid and consistent understanding of the D’s different role here? Do you have faith in Martinez & Greene (don’t want to take away JJ’s & DD’s abilities to add offense to the other lines so that rules out their pairings.) You might need to juggle pairings. Could you do a fancy double shifting system with parings of Scuds & JJ then Scuds & Willie then Willie & DD. When the 2 stay-at-home guys are on, you throw out the new 1st line? (All DDs above mean #8 not #44.)

    I’m not doubting in the least, I’m just trying to think it through. I’m in favor of anything that works….

    • The D, no matter the pairing would have it easier because instead of falling back to cover the whole ice, they would be falling back to cover 2/3′rds of the ice, with the left winger covering the other 1/3′rd. Lewis or Richardson have speed to attack or drop back and experience on the left. Both those players can sub in the face off circle if Kopi gets kicked out, and both are defensively aware.

      It would be perfect.

      • Also JJ, or DD could join the attack thru the middle with a defenseman, and a left winger still in a defensive position if the play goes the other way. If the left winger gets caught, than you still have 2 defenseman in position.

      • I was most concerned about the Kopi and Brown pressing. they’re both solid 2 way guys.

        But it sounds like you’ve thought this through more than I can. I’m sold.

  7. One last thing. Willie Mitchell Has played the left wing lock for years with Vancouver.

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